It's hard to believe I did it ... made a damn dress! I still have to add my pockets, but during my residency at Little River Studio in Bethlehem, NH I completed the base of Sonya Philip's Dress No. 1 for the first ever Have Company Dress Along!
I had ordered the pattern from Sonya a lil while back ... and what better way to stay accountable to a project than by inviting a bunch of other people to do it alongside you!
Katherine Ferrier, my host for my residency, took me on a lil road trip to Nido in Burlington, VT. What can I say, I fell in love with everything about the place. From the lush piles of Quince and Co. Yarn, small batch wools from Vermont, and the incredibly kind Kaitlin who showed us all around. Katherine and I settled on a cotton linen blend by Robert Kaufman for our dress fabric. We had them match because, ya know, they should probably turn into dance costumes. Always trying to combine my life as a fiber artist and dance maker ;)
I know how to sew a straight line, and I know how to use scissors .... so the first portion of the pattern I wasn't so intimidated by. We used vintage pattern paper that was basically like tracing paper to make our templates! That was you can save the master so if you wanted to make another size you could.
What I was intimidates by ... BIAS TAPE! With new tasks like this I just get paralyzed. In the past 26 years I have overcome so many things, in both my life and in the craft world. Yet every time a NEW TASK comes up (a new knitting increase, a way to iron, a stitch) I just freeze. Well, never for too long. Maybe it's not a freeze. It's more of a spiral into self doubt and worry that I will never be able to figure it out.
SPOILER ALERT : I have never attempted to learn something new that i REALLY wanted to learn and not been able to figure it out. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes hours, sometimes years. But every time I conquer it, my inner confidence and feelings of self worth sky rocket. Bias tape was no different.
First of all I learned what bias is in the first place ... cut fabric on the diagonal and VOILA! It's stretchy! I decided to sew mine to the right side and then fold it in so that on the outside you don't see the bias tape but you see the top stitch. It looks like other folks under the #100actsofsewing tag have done it a few different ways!
Above is the one mistake I made (I mean other than wonky sewing, but those are just personalities, not mistakes) Sonya warns about this in the instructions, but as a esult of being excited I wasn't really paying attention and sewed the shoulder seam the opposite way when I sewed the bias tape for the armhole. It only take a minute to undo and redo, but was a good lesson in sewing!
Now that I'm home I'm looking forward to making the pockets (oh you know, just another fear ... making pockets...) and completing this dress! The following photos are by Katherine Ferrier
you can still join in on the sew along on instagram or comment below with your progress & questions, use #hcdressalong to find others working on the same project!